Lawmakers Want Limits on Cities’ Power to Shape Development, to Lower Housing Costs
The Star Tribune’s Eric Roper reports on two bills that would ease local zoning practices and encourage housing development.
A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers blame local zoning practices for stifling the construction of affordable housing, and have proposed reining in how cities regulate development.
One bill would bar cities from dictating what materials homebuilders must use, or specifying that new homes have big garages — elements builders say drive up housing prices. Another would allow duplexes in any part of Minnesota zoned for single-family homes, and ensure cities are making room for higher density housing.
The legislation also takes aim at an increasingly common practice of approving developments under “planned unit developments,” essentially a negotiation between cities and developers outside of the normal zoning code. The bills would curb cities from using that process to demand extra fees or design changes.
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